Brad Thorn

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Leinster’s Rocky Elsom bursts through the Leicester  defence during the 19-16 win in the 2009 Heineken Cup final. Photograph: Getty Images

Rocky Elsom’s biographer wastes no time entering the realm of hagiography. “Rocky is like a modern day renaissance man, a Leonardo da Vinci in studs,(...)

  Rob Kearney celebrates at the final whistle after the battle with Clermont in 2012. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

April 2012. Someway, somehow we kept out Clermont Auvergne under blazing Bordeaux sun. Walking back down the tunnel at Stade Chaban-Delmas that unmist(...)

Rocky Elsom in action for Leinster: “We adopted an under-12s mentality in many games that season [2008-9]. Give the ball to the big fella and pile after him. It worked, especially against Munster at Croke Park.”  Photograph: Graham Stuart/Inpho

There are several reasons for the continued success of the Irish provinces. Home grown talent will always matter. Some brilliant coaching tickets have(...)

  Ireland’s players form a guard of honour for New Zealand at the end of the match. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Warning to offshore Kiwis: return home predicting a New Zealand loss at your peril. Definitely don’t do it on national television. The grief! Before(...)

Michael Cheika, Wallabies head coach, has named his team for Saturday’s match at Suncorp Stadium. Photograph: Jono Searle/Getty Images

Former Leinster coach Michael Cheika has repeated his assertion that his Wallabies side will be facing the best Irish team in history in Saturday’s te(...)

 Joey Carbery has been named at outhalf for Ireland’s opening Test in Australia. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

After handing Joey Carbery what amounts to the biggest game of his fledgling career by making the Munster-bound out-half one of six changes to the sta(...)

Joe Schmidt: ‘We want to make sure this tour is another building block for what comes in the future.’ Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

It is a measure of Irish rugby’s game management system that a near full-strength squad pitched up on the Gold Coast over the weekend in readiness for(...)

Bernard Foley at number 10 is a certainty for Australia. Photo: Getty Images

Clash of cultures. The Australia squad announcement on Fox Sports this morning (10.30am Irish time) allows Joe Schmidt to ignite precise preparations (...)

“To come home from winning a final and be able to play Munster in front of our home crowd at the RDS is something that not many teams get a chance to do.”

Scott Fardy has travelled a circuitous and lengthy route to being a World Cup finalist and European Cup winner. From Sydney and the Waratahs academy, (...)

Isa Nacewa: “He’s got two games left. Two games and that’s it. So there’s still a huge hunger in someone like Isa to get on the field this weekend and get a result.” Photograph: Getty Images

Guy Noves once described winning the double of the European Cup and the French Championship as “impossible”. His own club, Toulouse, had done it under(...)

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